The Importance of Learning to Say No
No means No
Some people find it hard to accept you saying No. They will try to manipulate instead of taking you at your word. Most of the time this manipulation is for selfish reasons. However, be aware that sometimes they are trying to persuade you because they have your best interests at heart. Distinguishing between these two motives is a learning curve which changes according to the circumstances of the day.
Do not be too rigid with your No. Only use it when it is the right answer and you need to protect yourself from being manipulated into doing something that doesn't suit you or when the person asking is being unreasonable.
Saying yes when you mean No leads to resentment and annoyance.
Earn respect by saying No
There is probably no better way to earn respect than by saying No-and sticking to it. In courtship rituals in Western culture for example,it is more attractive to a man when a woman plays hard to get. She is not deemed a pushover and men sometimes like the woman to hold the reins even though the man wants the name of doing so.
Furthermore,parents who learn to say No to their children earn more respect as well and are better at child-rearing.
In the workplace,saying No has to be balanced with doing one's job but there is a place for it if one's colleagues are shunning their share of the work by "delegating" their work to you.
Avoid resentment by saying No
Resentment is unhealthy especially if it is chronic. Doing things against your will festers and does not foster good human relationships and interaction. It is a better idea to say No when it is appropriate to do so instead of being resentful while doing things.
An alternative to saying No is to change one's attitude to the task at hand rather than being resentful about saying Yes.
For example,someone who dislikes his/her job but needs to work can change his/her attitude to the job instead of saying No to working.
Some final words
It is inherent in the Christian philosophy that selfishness is a bad thing. This is not the case. In Eastern religions the focus is on the individual first and his/her spirituality.This seems more selfish but reaching out to other people as per the Christian ethos can lead to burnout if one doesn't say No when it is appropriate to do so.
Our first responsibility is to ourselves. Learning to say no when necessary fulfils this responsibility.
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